Play! by Sephora Review – September 2018


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Play! by Sephora is a monthly beauty and makeup subscription. Each month they send you six samples, a PLAY! BOOK of tips and tricks, and a PLAY! PASS for in-store learning.

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Every month they ship all of the samples in a bag. This month, instead of the drawstring bag, they are sending a reusable and recyclable plastic bag that is TSA-friendly. 

FYI – There are variations of this box. Sephora sent me this box early for the review, but I don’t have the box # associated with this box. We’ll share box # spoilers as soon as we get them!

To find out which box you’re receiving at the beginning of each month, follow these instructions:

If you log in through a browser, not the app, and go to my account > account details > online orders and open the play! Order Details (it was dated 11/1 for me), you can see the “item number” next to the image.

The Subscription Box: Play! by Sephora

The Cost: $10

The Products: Five deluxe samples plus a fragrance sample, a PLAY! BOOK of tips and tricks, and a PLAY! PASS for in-store learning.

Ships to: US

Check out all of our Play! by Sephora reviews and all of our reviews of Cheap Subscription Boxes for other similarly priced boxes!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

Each box comes with a Play! Pass, which is a card you can use at Sephora (in-store) to get 50 extra rewards points, and you can also get one-on-one tutorials and tips of products from a Sephora consultant. 

Now, on to the items!

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream – .3 oz Value $11.73

This cream is SO hydrating! It’s infused with cucumber so that scent adds to the spa-like refreshing vibe of the cream. You can use it as a day cream, night cream, or even add a little over makeup to hydrate your skin and give you a dewy finish.

Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer – 5 ml Value $4

This is a face primer that also doubles as a light moisturizer. It hydrates the skin, and my favorite part is that once it absorbs it feels invisible!

Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Rich Atomic Heat Mask – 7.5 ml Value $2.90

This product was new to me – and I liked how easy and quick it was to use. It’s designed to help reduce the look of fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, and uneven skin tone. You apply it, let it sit for 3 minutes, then put cool water on your fingertips and massage the mask to activate the heat part of the mask. (Then rinse and remove.)

I found it to be a subtle heat, (not as warm as I was expecting), and it left my skin feeling super smooth.

NUDESTIX Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil in Kiss – 2.5 g Value $12?

I LOVE Nudestix lip crayons! They are so creamy and pigmented, and they easily glide on your lips, too. This shade is a very wearable rosy pink.

Here it is swatched:

Sephora Lashcraft Big Volume Mascara – 5 g Value $5.60

This mascara is pretty good. The formula is wetter than most (not my favorite), but I was able to get good lash definition and volume. Not as good as my favorite tarte mascara, but I’d give it a B.

VIKTOR&ROLF Flowerbomb Nectar – 1.2 ml Value $2.88

This is a warm and sweet fragrance with notes of Osmanthus, Orange Blossom, and Gun Powder Accord. I’m not much of a perfume wearer, so this item isn’t a hit for me.

Verdict: This box has a value of about $39.11. I think that’s great for a $10 beauty box, especially since the box will always include high-end brands. I really liked the skincare in this box, too.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, if you sign up now, your first box will be the October box.

Coupon – No coupons available for this subscription.

What do you think about the September Play! by Sephora box? 

Written by Liz Cadman

Liz Cadman

Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She’s been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!

All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. If you buy something, MSA may earn an affiliate commission. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.

Posted in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Cheap Subscription Boxes, Makeup Subscription Boxes, Play! By Sephora Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: play by sephora | 59 comments

59 Comments

  1. I really don’t like the new bag design. If they start with that every month I’ll cancel. I count the bag as part of the value in my subscription because I use those bags. I’ve already been a little disappointed lately with the things sent to me that don’t match my profile at all or double what they’ve sent me before. Taking away the bag would just make it worse. I’ve been considering cancelling for a while because I also get Ipsy and the value is much better with products that are way more my style, cute zipper bags that I use as clutches sometimes, and an overall better customer experience and website. However every month there’s one thing in my play box that makes me hesitate to cancel because at least I like one thing. This month it’s the mascara, the rest is a no for me. I’m not fond of skin products or toners so I hate when a bag is mostly that like this month.

  2. Viktor and Rolf are absolutely right: That smell is a bomb. So sickly sweet – enough already.

  3. I would be really pleased to receive this same exact box!

  4. I love the bag change… fantastic… but why on earth do they keep pushing this particular perfume sample on us… I have gotten it multiple times!!!

    • So true about the perfume sample! I have received it from the Sephora Play box alone at least 3 times. I’m guessing the PR people from Victor & Rolf have been going into overdrive sending it to every distributor.

  5. I hope this is 681 cause that’s my box number!💛

    • I’m 753, does anyone know what’s in mine?

    • It is box 681. I checked on sephoras app.

  6. Looked up the Nudestix Matte Lip and Cheek pencil on their website. Looks like the one reviewed is full size @ $24 retail.

  7. Just curious, but why do people who’ve already cancelled who cancelled awhile ago come on here and comment about how glad they are that they cancelled and how disappointed they are with the bags? So, you don’t get the Sephora Play bag anymore but you still come on here to tell us you don’t get it anymore and how you don’t like the products you aren’t even getting? I don’t get it…

    • Seriously. I’m not sure what the purpose of complaining after you’ve cancelled is. Is someone hoping Sephora read the comments and reaches out to offer a freebie or something?

      I’ve been doing Play! for about 6-7 months now, and I’ve been really happy with it. I have given away a few things I can’t use (sparkly pink lip gloss went to my tween, sparkly highlighter and perfume has been distributed to coworkers), but I’ve been pretty pleased with my boxes and have found several new products that work really well for me because of it. And I love the sample sizes because I can throw away half-used things that don’t work without feeling too wasteful. I keep waiting to start getting too many of the same thing or stuff that is really not appropriate to my profile, but it’s been pretty rare so far. I certainly have some ideas on improving the service, but it’s inexpensive and fun and I’m glad I get it.

    • Maybe they aren’t satisfied no matter what and just have a need to complain about something. 🤷🏽‍♀️

    • It’s the sub box queens who subscribe to everything, so they like to point out how these basic boxes just aren’t special enough because they already have lots of the same samples from other boxes. Personally, I can only afford to subscribe to one beauty box and this is one of the few little luxuries I budget in for myself every month. I’ve been very happy with my Sephora Play subscription, and I’ve yet to receive duplicate items from them. I love getting my box each month and I just feel thankful to get to try these super fancy brands for $10. It’s actually just confirmation to me that the more money you have to throw around on luxuries, the more it seems to take to be satisfied. Savor the little luxuries and simple things.

      • Exactly!!

      • I have been with sephora play for a little over a year and I get double items a lot, even some a month or two after getting them. For instance: sephora nude lip gloss I got that almost back to back (i know I am not the only one friends have complained about it). This is box number 681 which is what I am getting and I received the lash craft mascara in Feb. I received a double of kat von d lipstick in I think lovesick. I call them to complain because I get this box to try new things..I just don’t get why I get doubles a lot. It’s really frustrating. If I get doubles in different subs I get that but we shouldn’t get doubles in the same sub box. I wish sephora would fix the double issue. I know they can do it. Its a simple software fix.

      • I agree!

    • People like to say “I was right” or “I told you” sort of stuff. That’s why they keep looking at the new boxes curiously even more than the actual subscribers, and they will keep saying how great decision it was to cancel it.

      It may not make any sense to get the same kind of products especially when you have other subscriptions. But I have only two subscriptions, I like trying new products, but the point for me is not just trying but also saving. Before these subscriptions I was already spending tons of money especially on skincare (the money I used to spend on face and eye moisturizers, serums and oils was waaaay above the money I spent for these boxes). So personally, I don’t mind getting moisturizers (even though it is the exact same one) again and again. When it comes to make up, instead of receiving some crazy colored lipsticks or eye shadows that I am not gonna be able to use at all, I prefer to have nude lipsticks again and again. What is important for me is not the overall value of a box, but whether the value of the products that I am going to use is above the price I paid for the box or not.

      • Couldn’t agree more! I love getting the moisturizers. By the time my new box comes in, I’m ready for another sample. I’ve saved money on moisturizers by subscribing to Sephoraplay box because I use to spend hundreds of dollars on different creams and serums every couple of months. Some worked some did not. I’ve also read that it’s good for your skin to switch up your moisturizers. Since subscribing my skin has looked great. I enjoy the suttle lip colors as I really don’t care for bright colors at my age and I find I use the nude colors more often. For 10 Bucks I can’t complain.

  8. Glad to see perfume samples, instead of foil packets of shampoo and conditioner.

    • I do like that they switch it up at times so it’s not always a perfume sample or a shampoo/conditioner. I have gotten some hair treatments also. The switch up hives it a bit more excitement IMHO.

  9. Looks like an ok box, nothing too exciting but all items usable. I do intend to cancel if and when I get off the ipsy glambag plus waitlist and start getting those full size products.

  10. Their September 2018 video is up on Sephora youtube channel

  11. OMG! What an excellent box! Right on Sephora! I definitely don’t need another nude stick or mascara but I’m still crossing my fingers I get this one. And these plastic zip bags are perfect for protecting your phone Etc at the waterpark or even the spillables in your purse and

  12. This looks great unfortunately I can almost bet I won’t get anything close to this bag. I need to cancel I just keep thing maybe next month.

    • I cancelled a few months ago and haven’t felt like I missed out on anything. I did grab one of the decades skincare kits as it was a good deal on more of the SR oil. I find I end up just waiting and grabbing full sizes of what I really need now.

  13. I like the plastic reusable bag. I can find ways to repurpose it much easier than their previous cloth bags.

  14. This looks amazing! I’d use and love all except for the Mascara. Fingers crossed I get a couple of these items in my bag 🙂

  15. What box number is this

    • It says at the beginning of the review in bold this was sent early by Sephora for review so they don’t have a box number associated with it.

    • She had said that there is no box number that they sent this to her early to review

      • Someone spoiled that this is 681

    • 681!

    • I’m almost positive it’s box #681🙂

      • It is.

  16. I don’t like the new bag design. I won’t reuse it at all. I hope the plastic is recyclable, at least.

  17. Boooo

  18. Glad I cancelled last month! Everytime I see sneak peeks I get stoked , and then when I get it I get let down by yet another repeat.🙄 it’s ok once in a while but I’m getting repeats from them in less than a year of subscribing and i have a total of 5 repeats! So I gave them chance after chance and they keep doing it so sorry Sephora

  19. I’d be so much more likely to sub and stay subbed if they’d send a full sized Sephora brand product once every couple of consecutive subscription months instead of their tiny little samples when they include Sephora brand stuff in the box. While the value is decent, it’s just not that appealing any more when the products repeat all the time and the sample sizes seem so small.

    • I completely agree! Really wish I would’ve canceled last month but I keep forgetting!

  20. My box is #764.

    Hope they get back into releasing the spoilers with the box numbers.
    I try and try to quit this box but I love most of Sephora’s brands too much and miss them when I’ve stopped the sub briefly. Silly, so silly, but it’s some kind of… addiction, like this website says. 😉

    • I have this number, too!! Can’t wait to see what we are getting!

      I love this box – I use the travel sized samples and bags to make little mini makeup bags for refreshing my makeup (one in my work desk drawer, one in my car, etc) … it’s also so nice to have a mini lip gloss or mascara for a night out 😊

  21. I cut out quite a few! Goodbye boxy, FabFitFun and play😞😞 Hello to the new ipsy plus box, allure and pop sugar😊❤️ I also have been getting the Macy’s box and love it as well. Play has so many repeats and huge price differences in the variations and I can can honestly say I have no regrets after seeing this review. I’m sure someone will love this and that’s wonderful I think I’m just on overload😐 With that said I did find a couple great new products through play😊👍

  22. I agree with the person who said that Sephora Play is a good box for those still “new to the subscription box journey”. Honestly, this looks like an awesome box to me! And I’ve been pretty happy with my past Sephora Play boxes, too! I’m on a budget, so this is the only beauty subscription box I get right now. And because I don’t get multiple boxes, I don’t have the same problem with repeat products that lots of people complain about. Even if I’m not stoked on an item or two, I’m generally pretty thankful and excited about what I get. I think the bag might be an upgrade in the sense that I can always find a use for a resealable plastic bag. I know some people dislike perfume samples, but I’m happy to see one included after a couple months of hair products. If I knew someone looking to try a beauty box for the very first time, I’d definitely recommend this one. I’m hoping to give Birchbox or Ipsy a try when I can justify a bigger budget for luxuries.

  23. I love that Tidal cream. I went ahead and picked it up as a 100 pt perk just in case it doesn’t come in my play.

  24. I remember one person commented on the spoiler post, she was listing exactly these products in the box#681.

  25. OMG I love everything shown here except the mascara. I hope I get this version, otherwise I’ll be looking to swap for most items in it lol!

  26. Judging by the comments, I think that Sephora Play is a good box for people like me who only subscribe to one or two boxes. I’d be pretty happy with this box, and I’ve generally been pretty happy with every box I’ve gotten from Sephora. I don’t have much of a budget for luxuries, so this is one of the little treats I allow for myself every month. Since I don’t get multiple subscriptions, I don’t really get duplicates like a lot of people complain about. The new bag design is alright. I’m also thrilled to see a lip color that is not nude/mauve this month, and I’m probably in the minority in being happy to see a perfume sample included instead of haircare!

  27. An upgrade? ! No kidding.

  28. I’m personally really relieved that I cancelled last month. Usually the box that they send MSA is one of the best variations, but even if I would have received this exact version, I would feel very meh… about it. It just got to the point(for me) that I was feeling more letdown each month. Maybe I have just been subscribed for too long. With that being said, I do see the value in this subscription, particularly for someone newer in their subscription box journey.

  29. I wouldn’t mind getting the top faced primer, the Sunday Riley cream and the Peter Thomas Roth mask. These I could do without. I have enough mascara samples to last 2 lifetimes. I’ve got a boatload of lip colors and I’m not fond of perfume samples. Would rather have shampoo/conditioner samples. But I do like the new bag design.

  30. I’m so happy I see a fragrance sample! The past few months I haven’t gotten one and I actually like them! I can’t wait to see the different box variations and see which one I get!

    • Me too on the perfume sample! It was one of the factors that initially drew me into Play! Vs. other subscriptions, and I miss it so much!

      • I was thinking of canceling since they seem to be stopping the fragrances.

    • I agree! I travel a ton for work and can pop a couple of these in my bag without it taking up much space.

    • I’m the opposite – I would much rather have the shampoo samples than fragrance. I wish they would let you pick whether or not you’d like to receive perfume samples – my partner is very sensitive to smells, and pretty much all perfumes give him a headache. My office is also scent-free because several people have severe allergies/migraine triggers related to scent, so I have no use for them and end up giving them away.

      • That sucks, my brothers the same way. I’d hate to work where you do. I’m a perfume fareeeeak! The hair samples for people w short hair are okay, but I have long hair and one packet of each sample doesn’t even touch my scalp to my ears! Oh well, dsfdf i guess!

  31. I like this box… sadly it means I probably won’t get it.. haha I’m thinking of canceling, I feel like I get the same things over and over… I hate nude lipsticks yet that’s all they send me 😭

  32. I was really hoping for an eyeshadow this month. I just started getting Sephora play 3 months ago and I’m already sick of the little moisturizer pots and lipsticks lol. I’m very meh about the items shown here, so hopefully I get a slightly different variation.

  33. I’d be happy with this variation, I hope I get something like it!

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